Friday, August 18, 2006

The Fun and Games

If the internet was around in the late 60's all of the indie kids would be raving about The Fun and Games. Conversely, if The Fun and Games were a new band today, they'd be red hot in the blogosphere. Their classic 60's pop sound with layered instrumentation and harmonies (a la The Beach Boys and Phil Spector) would fall right in line with bands like The Spinto Band, Of Montreal and Olivia Tremor Control.

In the late 60's, The Fun and Games were the cat's meow of the Houston music scene with Red Crayola. They even had a minor chart hit with their song "The Grooviest Girl In the World". It reached #78 on the Billboard Charts. I love the guy's yelling of "TAAA!" at the end of the line "and I'm the guy with impecible tastes. TAAA!" Great little moment.

However, the band never broke through. Then they went out to LA and recorded two songs, "One" and "We". They debated which song to release as their next single. The band wanted "One" but their management pushed for "We". So, they released "We". The song flopped on the charts. Meanwhile, Three Dog Night recorded and released "One" a few months later. The song went to #2 on the charts. The Fun and Games' version of the song was permently shelved; never to be heard by the public.

That was the straw that broke the band's back. They stuck together for another year or so but were done by 1970.

There was also some bad incident where their record label set up a showcase show for them in LA but the lead singer, Sam Irwin, decided to spend a lot of time insulting the staff of the record label. That apparently led to the label pulling promotion for the band. So, some of their lack of fame is due to their own mistakes too.

Last year, a division of Universal Music decided to re-release their only full-length album, Elephant Candy. Plus, they tacked on a few singles as a bonus. Previously, none of their music had ever been released on CD before. However, it's barely on CD. I ordered the album from my local record store back in April but it just finally arrived earlier this week. Amazon claims they have just one copy in stock. So, go and get it.

The Fun and Games | The Grooviest Girl In the World | Buy
The Fun and Games | The Way She Smiles | Buy
The Fun and Games | Sadie | Buy


kingdomforavoice said...

Why don't bands put out album covers like that one anymore? I'm sure the obvious answer is that no one does that many phycadelic drugs anymore but they were really on to something.

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